The Somerset County commissioners agreed to prepare an easement sought by a wind farm developer to run power transmission lines over the Great Allegheny Passage at Big Savage Tunnel.
The 80-foot easement will not affect access or usage of the trail, Commissioner Jim Marker said.
The line is owned by Big Savage LLC, a subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings of New York. The developer plans to construct a 60-turbine wind facility on about 8,500 acres in Southampton, Northampton, Larimer and Greenville townships.
Big Savage agreed to pay $10,000 for the easement, said county Solicitor Dan Rullo, who will be drawing up the final papers.
“The wind farm developer agreed to excavate a permanent overlook area with two covered picnic tables on the east portal of the tunnel,” he said.
There is a need for an overlook there, Marker said.
“People congregate there. There is a beautiful view down through the Cumberland Valley,” he said.
He complimented the wind farm developer.
“This company has been very generous,” he said.
Big Savage LLC will throw in a self-composting toilet that costs about $25,000 to replace a port-a-potty at the site, he said.
To date, no windmills have been erected at the facility, according to Rullo.
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